Show of hands: How many of you now know way too much about high school friends’ video viewing habits, thanks to SocialCam‘s overshare-enabling default settings? And surely we can’t be the only users enraged by being prompted to install an app before we can read an article on Yahoo News or The Washington Post?
Facebook apps and their “frictionless sharing” are aggravating–so naturally, a couple of enterprising developers have created workarounds for both Chrome and Firefox, reports TechCrunch.
The plug-ins allow users to read or watch whatever their friends have shared, without sharing it themselves. That means you can assuage your curiosity re: TomKat while browsing Facebook, without blowing your “I don’t read celebrity news” cover.
Of course, this only solves accidental oversharing. If you’re the type to chronicle every dispute and drunken cocktail party on Facebook, there’s not much we can do for you.
It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It
For avid Facebook users, it’s become second nature to “like” a brand or political position or angsty emo group like “When I say ‘I hate you’ I mean ‘I love you but you hurt me.'”And most informed users know that in the court of Facebook, your likes can be used against you–mainly, as ads displayed to your friends in some dystopian form of peer pressure: “Jessica likes Betabeat! You should too!”
But did you know that the links you share on Facebook can also be served to your friends as ads? As the New York Times reports today, that’s what happened to Nick Bergus, who jokingly shared an Amazon link to a 55-gallon barrel of lube.
Does Facebook have a secret superpower? That’s the theory floated by Nick Bilton in the New York Times today. Because Facebook connects users “to more than nine million apps and services through Facebook Connect, the Open Graph developer platform, and the hundreds of millions of like buttons that perforate Web pages across the Internet, the company can see what people are using,” and thereby predict–and influence–what becomes popular, argues Mr. Bilton, who compares the skill to a sort of startup “spidey sense.”
In monitoring photo-sharing, Facebook used that data to figure out that it needed to acquire Instagram. But in the case of Viddy and Socialcam, two new video-sharing services, Facebook flexed its might to “experiment with who wins and who loses online,” Mr. Bilton said. In other words, Zuck can knight your startup the next Instagram depending on Facebook’s willingness to promote your app.